When Is A Project Delay Material and Actionable?

By Rick Erickson Welcome to 2022!  This year, the construction industry will undoubtedly reflect on the last two years as unprecedented times plagued by construction project delays.  The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to suspension of work and closure of construction projects … Continue reading

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Tort Claims Against an Alter Ego May Be Considered an Action “On a Contract” for the Purposes of an Attorneys’ Fees Award under California Civil Code section 1717

By: Tony Carucci California Civil Code section 1717 entitles the prevailing party to attorneys’ fees “n any action on a contract,” where the contract provides for an award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party, regardless of whether the prevailing … Continue reading

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More Help For Arizona’s Restaurant & Hospitality Industry On the Way

By Patrick Paul On January 5, 2021, Governor Ducey announced the allocation of $2 million in additional funding to assist local restaurants and other dining establishments expand outdoor dining, protect patrons and staff, and limit the spread of COVID-19. Consistent … Continue reading

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California Judicial Council Votes to Rescind Prohibitions on Eviction and Foreclosure Proceedings

By:  David Rao and Lyndsey Torp The California Judicial Council’s emergency rules staying evictions and judicial foreclosures are coming to an end. On March 27, 2020, the Governor of California issued executive order N-38-20, giving the Judicial Council emergency authority … Continue reading

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Arizona Governor Ducey’s Executive Order on Residential Eviction Actions

By:  Bob Henry As part of the State of Arizona’s response to the current public health crisis, on March 24, 2020, Arizona Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-14, titled “Postponement of Eviction Actions.” A copy of the Executive Order is … Continue reading

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Airbnb Declares End to Party!

By Patrick Paul As municipalities around the country evaluate changes to their respective codes in an effort to exert greater control over bad actors in the vacation rental market, Airbnb announced on November 2nd that it is banning party houses.  … Continue reading

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That’s Common Knowledge! Failure to Designate an Expert Witness in a Professional Negligence Case is Not Fatal Where “Common Knowledge” Exception Applies

By:  Lyndsey Torp In reversing summary judgment for defendants, the California Fourth District Court of Appeal recently held that homeowners suing their real estate broker for negligence did not need an expert witness to establish the elements of their causes … Continue reading

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What If Your CCP 998 Offer is Silent on Costs?

By: Tony Carucci In California, the “prevailing party” in litigation is generally entitled to recover its costs as a matter of law. See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1032. But under California Code of Civil Procedure section 998, a party … Continue reading

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When Does a Contractor Legally Abandon a Construction Project?

By Rick Erickson Lately, we’ve been spending more time as litigators pursuing and defending claims of abandonment against contractors. It has become apparent that abandonment is often misinterpreted in its legal meaning and effect.  Here are some thoughts on abandonment … Continue reading

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California Supreme Court Hands Victory to Private Property Owners Over Public Use

By:  Sean M. Sherlock In 1970 the California Supreme Court held that, under certain circumstances, private property owners impliedly dedicate their property to the public if they permit the public to use it. Gion v. City of Santa Cruz (1970) … Continue reading

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Does Your 998 Offer to Compromise Include Attorneys’ Fees and Costs?

By: Anthony J. Carucci In California, the “prevailing party” in litigation is generally entitled to recover its costs as a matter of law. See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1032. But under California Code of Civil Procedure section 998, a … Continue reading

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Arizona Supreme Court Holds a Credit Bid at a Trustee’s Sale Should Not be Credited to a Title Insurer Under a Standard Lender’s Title Policy To the Extent the Bid Exceeds the Collateral’s Fair Market Value

By:  Richard H. Herold The Arizona Supreme Court recently addressed what impact, if any, a lender’s credit bid at an Arizona trustee’s sale has on an insurer’s liability under Sections 2, 7 and 9 of the standard’s lender’s title policy … Continue reading

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What Do I Do With This Stuff? Dealing With Abandoned Property After Foreclosure

By: Lyndsey Torp You’ve successfully foreclosed on a commercial building in California, and, thankfully, the borrower moved out after foreclosure or after a period of tenancy. But the borrower left behind all sorts of property – furniture, filing cabinets, records, … Continue reading

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Developer Awarded Cost of Preparing Administrative Record in CEQA Lawsuit

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) typically proceed as petitions for administrative mandamus. This means the petitioner is asking the court to review an agency’s decision and ultimately issue a mandate directing the agency to set aside its … Continue reading

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California’s One-Action Rule May Apply to Federal Lenders

By: Anthony J. Carucci California’s one-action rule provides that “here can be but one form of action for the recovery of any debt or the enforcement of any right secured by mortgage upon real property or an estate for years … Continue reading

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California Case Deals with Nuisance Lawsuit Intended to Delay Foreclosure

A recent California case provides good precedent for dealing with nuisance lawsuits that are intended to delay valid foreclosures. In Brown v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company —Cal.Rptr.3d—, 2016 WL 2726229 (May 9, 2016), plaintiff sued defendants to stop them … Continue reading

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Property Taxes: A Shopping Center May Not Always be a Shopping Center

By:  Rick Herold, Craig McPike & Ben Reeves In the world of real property taxes, Valuation + Classification = Assessed Valuation.  Sounds simple, right?  The County Assessor determines the first factor, valuation (subject to certain guidelines under applicable Arizona law).  … Continue reading

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Federal Courts to Apply More Protective State Law when Analyzing Validity of Pre-dispute Jury Trial Waivers in Diversity Jurisdiction Cases

By Anthony J. Carucci The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that federal courts sitting in diversity jurisdiction must apply the underlying state law to determine the validity of pre-dispute jury trial waivers where the state law is more … Continue reading

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Guarantor Waivers Narrowed

By:  Lyndsey A. Torp and Sean M. Sherlock A general waiver by a guarantor of “all defenses” does not actually waive “all defenses.”   California Bank & Trust v. Del Ponti, — Cal.Rptr.3d —, 2014 WL 6908141 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.).  That … Continue reading

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California Case Requires Arbitration Despite Lack of Actual Controversy

  By:  Lyndsey A. Torp and Sean M. Sherlock For parties to litigate a contract dispute in a court of law, the parties’ disagreement must have ripened into an actual controversy presenting more than a mere academic difference of opinion.  … Continue reading

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Nevada Supreme Court adds New Elements to Constructive Eviction Claims.

By Bob L. Olson Nevada, like many jurisdictions, has recognized the ability of a tenant to vacate property if it becomes unfit for occupancy for the purpose for which it was leased.  This is commonly known as a “constructive eviction.”  … Continue reading

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Easements Made Easier: Building Pipelines with the Power of Eminent Domain Under the Natural Gas Act

By: Richard H. Herold Any person or entity seeking to construct a natural gas pipeline and successful in obtaining a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may exercise the power of eminent domain to obtain easements across … Continue reading

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Guarantors Score Two Victories Before the Nevada Supreme Court.

By:  Bob Olson and Nathan Kanute On May 29, 2013, the Nevada Supreme Court issued two decisions that all real estate lenders need to be aware of because they have the potential to eliminate the ability of a lender to … Continue reading

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Nevada Supreme Court and District Court Issue Decisions Regarding Nevada’s Limitations on Deficiency Judgments.

By:  Bob Olson and Nathan Kanute In 2011 the Nevada Legislature enacted Assembly Bill 273 (“AB 273”) which amended NRS 40.459 by limiting deficiency judgments to the difference between the amount the lender paid to acquire the loan or obligation and … Continue reading

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The Registrar is Changing the Game for Complaints Against Arizona Contractors

By Rick Erickson http://www.swlaw.com/attorneys/rick_erickson Sweeping changes at the Registrar of Contractors have the construction and real estate industries concerned and curious.  The Registrar recently received some poor performance reports by the Auditor General and State Ombudsmen.  As a result, the … Continue reading

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A Section 363 Sale Does NOT Transfer Property Free and Clear of an Equitable Servitude

By:  Ben Reeves Sales in bankruptcy court under 11 U.S.C. § 363 (called “363 Sales”) are often used to sell property during a bankruptcy case.  The 363 Sale process provides an efficient procedure to liquidate estate property and offers several … Continue reading

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Beyond Real Estate: Publicly Traded Homebuilders (And Other Public Companies) Must be Aware of Cybersecurity and Data Breach Disclosure Requirements Applicable to SEC Filings

By:  Richard H. Herold Generally speaking, publicly traded homebuilders and other public companies must disclose material information in their SEC filings.  “Information is considered material if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable investor would consider it important in … Continue reading

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Not All Property Acquired Post-Petition is Safe from Creditors

By:  Ben Reeves Although property obtained by a debtor after filing for bankruptcy is usually safe from creditors, a recent case from the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel allowed a Chapter 7 Trustee to sell real property obtained by the … Continue reading

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ABOR Fences Out a Property Owner’s Quiet Title Action

By: Cory L. Braddock  In May of last year, the Arizona Court of Appeals determined that “the statute of limitations does not run against a plaintiff in possession who brings a quiet title action purely to remove a cloud on … Continue reading

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Bidding on State Land Trust Leases: Even the Top Revenue-Generating Bids Must be Balanced Against Qualitative “Best Use” Factors Designed to Protect the Land

By:  Richard H. Herold The Court of Appeals recently held that that the Commissioner of the State Land Trust Department properly balanced Wildearth Guardians, Inc.’s higher revenue-generating bid against “best use” qualitative factors set forth in the Arizona Administrative Code.  … Continue reading

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A.R.S. § 33-814(A) and Bankruptcy Proofs of Claim: To File or Not to File…Conflicting Cases Leave Creditors With No Clear Answer

By: Ben Reeves Under Arizona law, does a secured creditor need to file a deficiency action within 90 days after a trustee’s sale to preserve the unsecured portion of its claim in a bankruptcy case? Or is filing (or amending) … Continue reading

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